Family: Connecting Safely

This weekend I’m flying back to visit family

It’s an unexpected trip, and one I am not too excited about.  With everything that’s happened, I really need some down time.  But I also need to be mindful of the work vacation/sick day policy.  This year, my goal is to stay within the acceptable limits of time off instead of going over by accident or necessity – aka big move or panic attacks or triggers or unexpected family stuff.

Family trees
This was taken back in grad school; branches and leaves remind me of my family connections

My grandma had bad accident late in January, and I couldn’t visit then because of the moving situation.  She is not getting any younger and doing well with recovery/rehab, but I still feel like visiting sooner instead of later is important.  More important than taking a vacation or personal down time to recover from recent experiences.

At the same time, I also need to take care of myself.

My internal family system - sort of
How I see myself…still alive and thriving as I connect my inside and outside worlds

Hence the hotel.  And spending a few days working and connecting with positive people in my network.  I hope it balances out visiting people on my mother’s side of the family too.  And potentially running into my father, brother, mother, etc.

My Self Care Kit goes a little like this:

For flying

  • Warm comfortable outfit
  • Aromatherapy inhalers my friend made me
  • Wireless noise-cancelling headphones + charger/cord
  • E-books/music saved on my phone + phone charger/cord
  • External Battery for electronic devices (fully charged) + charger/cord
  • 1 carry on suitcase + 1 personal bag/backpack
  • Empty water bottle; chocolate/snacks
  • Crystals for grounding, serenity, protection, and mental clarity

For Family

  • Crystals for grounding, protection, courage, and mental clarity
  • Warm, comfortable clothes and accessories in my favorite colors
  • Personal computer with cord for distractions or grounding
  • Chocolate and other grounding stuff
  • Extra warm layers in my backpack in case the house is cold

For Being Where I Grew Up

  • Restaurants with reasonably priced comfort food
  • Room service for times I don’t want to leave the hotel
  • A plan for getting around town – aka public transit card, GPS, and rideshare apps
  • A plan for getting to and from hotel, airport, and work with minimal anxiety
  • Soothing kit that fits in my purse for environmental triggers
  • Fully charged phone with hotline and support phone numbers in case of emergency

And an ESCAPE Plan for everything else.

Things for ME to remember:

  • CBT will help me stay grounded in the present
  • DBT is my best, most effective communication tool
  • No matter what, I am an adult now and can leave ANY time I want
  • Safety first always
  • Travel light, but stay warm
  • Connecting flights are scary, but doable without checked luggage
  • Cramped, middle airplane seats are scarier, but necessary for my budget (sigh)
Hope
A wish that my family will be repaired someday…like the branches of these trees

Wish me luck!  Next post will be coming from a hotel and/or a family member’s house.

Thanks for reading!